In a developing story, the Stuttgart prosecutors’ office has launched an investigation into employees of Daimler, parent company and manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC engines. At issue is the (lately) very common Germanic malady of diesel infidelity.
Posts By: Corey Lewis
There was a time when just about every day of the week you’d see one (or several) S10/S15 Jimmy/Blazer examples driving around, doing middle-class America things because the Explorer didn’t exist yet. But on account of salt, rust, neglect, and the general “use it up” that happens to trucks in this country, that time is no more.
But is our pristine Rare Ride of today worth anywhere near the sucker-punch $15,000 its owner is asking?
Stereotyping is something we all do, for better or worse. It’s in the normative for people to establish an immediate set of parameters around a person, place, or thing (so, nouns) without a second thought. The human brain is comfortable within these predetermined expectations. Similarly, consumers have expectations and stereotypes of brands. X/Y/Z brand are expected to offer a particular style, model, or paint color — and many brands exist in these stereotypes entirely without any joie de vivre, or whatever French phrases people throw out to sound intellectual.
But today I want to know what cars stand out within their brand. Which models past or present threw the marque’s guideline book out the window to become par excellence? (Ugh.)
Over time, certain terms begin to evoke very specific images in the minds of human beings. For instance, when someone utters the word “truck,” a medium-blue color circa-2010 F-150 comes to mind. “Luxury sedan” triggers competing images of a circa 1998 Lexus LS400 (in gold) and a W126 Mercedes-Benz S-Class of two-tone variety, probably black over light grey.
And “sports car”… well, that’s a red basket-handle Toyota Supra, or our Rare Ride of today: a Mitsubishi 3000GT.
On Monday, we issued a challenge to the B&B to submit their best efforts in the first-ever Car Name Game Challenge. There were 26 submissions, all of which went in front of our judges for review. So now it’s time to announce your top five winners, in ascending order. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Ahh, style. The word that means different things to different people. The khaki-clad middle manager and the 20-something hipster from Seattle both have a sense of it, even if wildly divergent. And this equally applies to cars.
For example, though many of the B&B complain about how all cars look the same now, I don’t think that’s true.
Your assignment today is to think about present-day exterior styling as applied to cars, and come up with a suggestion that’s suitably timeless.
In our last Rare Rides entry, we saw a Saleen sporting a lot of engine and little room, carrying a maximum of two physically fit human beings inside the cramped cockpit. That’s assuming neither of them brought any baggage, emotional or otherwise.
Today, we’re going in the other direction. I present to you what is undoubtedly the most intense passenger vehicle Toyota has ever produced: MEGA CRUISER. And it’s in full capital letters for a reason.
Today we’re going to play a little game. It’s the sort of game where all are called and few are chosen. The winner (or winners) of this game will receive lavish virtual validation from the staff at TTAC and fellow members of the B&B. And isn’t validation the best prize of all?
The title of our challenge today is The Car Name Game.
When you put pen to paper and start making a list of American super car models, it doesn’t take long to conclude that The Land of the Free is not a leading purveyor of the species. In fact, you can fit the list on a standard Post-It. Google reckons there are just four generally — Ford GT, Hennessey Venom GT (which are current), a couple of Mosler MTs, and the Saleen S7 (which are deceased).
So come and check out a rare example of what happens when
American British engineering meets super car specifications, and then it all gets screwed together in the U.S. of A.
Today’s marketplace is a crowded affair. Each manufacturer seems to sit down at the table every new model year with more. More variants, more things with all-wheel drive, more CUVs, and more vehicles which split the pieces of the sales pie down to ever smaller fragments. This fragmentation leads to the eye splinter above, whatever the hell Toyota thinks it is, which will clog up parking lots everywhere starting next year.
To cure this portion issue, I think some models need to die, and I want you to help me choose which ones.
Crossover — it’s such a magical term. To the average consumer and the shiny marketing executive, adventure and utility come standard with a crossover. The consumers who own a crossover can rest assured they’re interesting, well-rounded, and worthwhile people. The marketing executive can also rest assured with the knowledge the CUV is without a doubt the fastest growing segment in the entire North American market.
But you are neither consumer nor person of marketing lineage, you’re the B&B. So tell me, what defines a crossover for you? (Read More…)
The stresses of everyday commuting and travel can really get to you. All that time wasted while idling in traffic. Stomping your brakes as another driver makes a left on a red light directly in front of you. Or perhaps sitting behind someone in the left lane of the freeway, puttering along at 57 miles per hour. You can finish your journey much more triggered than when you set off.
Hyundai understands the frustration you experience with other drivers, and they’re preparing to offer their own brand of sedative if necessary.
On Tuesday, Infiniti announced it would enter a new market for the brand, bringing gasoline and diesel wares to New Zealand. New markets can be tough for manufacturers to crack, but don’t worry — Infiniti isn’t alone in this.
Earlier this week, our Matthew Guy inquired about your favorite automotive “oops” moment — a time when it all went wrong for a manufacturer’s model or idea. Today, we’re going to flip it around, switch it up, and reverse it.
There are times when everything comes together at the right place and time in the automotive world. Whether by complete accident or cunning planning (often years in advance), a manufacturer hits an idea out of the park. It might be a single model in a new style, a superb entry into a crowded marketplace, or something that fills a void hitherto left empty in the lives of hungry consumers. No case of schadenfreude here — just success, dollars, happy children, puppies, and smiling regulators and accountants.
So which tale of automotive success is your favorite? While the GTI shown above is interesting and is credited with creating the new hot hatch segment, it’s not my pick today.